Youth coach charged with sex abuse
A New York youth baseball commissioner, who was once named coach of the year, was charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting three teenage boys on his team — and then collapsed in court at his arraignment.
David Hartshorn, 52, who runs the Rochdale Village Little League, was charged with having sexual contact with three boys, ages 13 and 14, at his Rochdale Village home between July 2009 and January 2011.
He is also accused of showing child pornography to the minors and getting them to engage in sex acts that he filmed, the New York Post reported.
The allegations came to light when one of the boys told his mother, who then contacted police.
Hartshorn appeared in a Queens court Wednesday wearing a blue shirt, dark-blue slacks and a dark coat and was arraigned on charges of first- and second-degree criminal sexual acts, use of a child in a sexual performance, second-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
As prosecutors described the mountains of video evidence cops had collected at his apartment, Hartshorn told his lawyer, "I don't feel well." He then began convulsing and collapsed, causing officers to clear the court.
When he got back up, he was ordered held without bail and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Neighbors said Hartshorn had lived with his parents in his Rochdale Village home all his life until they died some years ago.
They also said he always had young boys around his home and described him as completely devoted to them.
The little league has been around for about 30 years, according to its Facebook page, and is associated with the Rochdale Village Community Center.
According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, on at least one occasion, Hartshorn allegedly showed a 13-year-old boy child pornography and told him, "I'm going to do that to you," and then touched him in a sexual manner.
At other times, it is alleged that Hartshorn filmed the boys engaging in sexual acts with one another.
Authorities say a search warrant at his home recovered "decades" worth of movies on various formats — including VHS, DVD and 8mm — showing young boys engaging in sexual acts and images of small children younger than 10 years of age engaged in similar activity.